On January 24, 2017, 650 participants, including the governor of Maguindanao, Esmael Mangudadatu, and heads of local organizations, joined the peace walk the Maguindanao Women and children Peace and Action Center.
Prior to the peace walk, participants watched a video that captures HWPL’s peace promoting activities in Mindanao and reaffirmed their commitment to keeping peace in the community.
Governor Mangudadatu proclaimed.
“Now is the crucial moment for peace”, reaffirming his pledge to work together with all participants and citizens in bringing sustainable peace to region.
Ms. Helen Laud Piang, member of the board of trustees of the Maguindanao Women’s for Peace and Development Organization, expressed, “Many citizens in the Buluan region are now more aware on the issue of peace through the January 24th annual commemorative events. Let us work together with HWPL for peace.”
The land where dramatic tensions reigned in society due to the enduring conflict met the collective efforts of Mindanao communities and HWPL, thus slowly transforming it into a land that promotes peace and prosperity.
This is the result of the strong solidarity of people in Mindanao for recognizing the importance of the culture of peace spoken of in the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War, DPCW and dedicating their efforts to apply those principles into actions.
This action plan includes education on peace as well as morals and ethics. Such programs will be crucial moving forward as the consecutive steps to establish sustainable peace and stability in the region. By implementing these practices, the DPCW is becoming a catalyst for realizing peace both locally and globally./
The Mindanao Peace Agreement, facilitated by the third party HWPL, was made on the 24th of January in 2014 and since then it has triggered continuous efforts to keep the promise of political stability in the province of Maguindanao and the reconciliation among religious leaders.
On May 25, 2015, the site witnessed an outpouring of people, a total of 3,000 participation in the peace walk and also designated the anniversary of the Mindanao Peace Agreement as ‘HWPL Day’.
In the following year, on January 24, 2016, the second HWPL peace monument was established in the Philippines, but this time at the heart of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, MILF base camp.
By doing so, the land previously overshadowed by sorrows and grief from continuous violence and horror became the foundation on which the spirit of peace could spread among the citizens.
In the aftermath, people of Mindanao are now working on activities in various fields for peace to be settled, such as the peace academy project, peace walks, and peace exhibitions, all in the hope of ushering a complete peace throughout the land.
Goals 16 & 17, the last two goals of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are to ensure ‘Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’ and ‘Partnerships for the Goals’, To establish sustainable development, it is necessary to build a responsible political and legal system at a national level. However, at an international level, cooperation and partnership among various stakeholders to affirm their commitment and realize their goals are also needed.
In the United Nations’ discourse on sustainable development, this cooperation is called ‘Good Governance’. Academic circles are also now or accepting of the paradigm of Governace as it follows along with the changes fo the times.
Governance discourse is spreading from traditional States to autonomous regions, and various systems and policy experiments are currently being promoted. Governance is emerging as a new paradigm that goes beyond teachnical and instrumental changes to the extent that governmental institutions need to cooperate with civil society actors.
Expanding Governance for A Peace through Global Governace
There are many cases of promoting overnance for the praceful resolution of warrs and conflicts and, among those instances, the achievements of peace parks for mitigating armed conflicts and conderving border areas are particularly noteworthy. Including the German Grunes Gand, the Peace Artks along the borders of Ecuador-Peru, Finland-Russia, and South Afica-Zimbabwe-Mozambique(Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park) are good examples of sucessful cases. Even Nelson Mandela, a symbol of South Africa’s democratization as well as a Noble Peace Prize laureate, strongly advocated for the establishment of Peace Parks.
In particular, Grunes Band, which was founded by NGOs led by the Bayerin Office(BN) of the German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND) on December 9th, a month a er the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, is a key historic example of the value of peace parks. At theat time, the East and West Germany border areas were the most heavily armed and were at the forefront fo the Iron Curtain division of the Cold War between the East and West.
In the early days follwing the reunification, there was a high risk of damage due to the lack of awareness of the ecological value of Grunes Band as well as the faulty, unreasonalbe system. However, with NGOs leading the way, the formation of the conservation system in Grunes Band and improved policy development were advanced. After the reunification, BUND and other NGOs related to environmental protection quickly launched the Grunes Band conservatin project even in the absence of government interest in the ecological and historical value of the border area.
It can be seen from that time that governments and civil society actors worked together for peaceful achievements through ‘Governance’ in order to preserve and tiilize conservation as a national imperative to establish an ecological network and sustainable regional developemnt resources begining from the early 2000s. The concept, as well as the conservation activities, of the German Grunes Band expanded to the entire trench of the former Iron Curtain, thus leading to the opening of the former Iron Curtain, thus leading to the opening of the European Green Belt cooperation project in 2004.
Establishment of Mindanao Peace Monument & Peace Day through the Cooperation of the Philippines Government
Murad to Congress: give importance to peace, pass the BBL, Bangsamoro Basic Law
CAMP DARAPANAN, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao (MindaNews / 24 January) – The chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has appealed to Congress to give importance to peace by passing the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) because it is “very important, more important than the election.”
Murad told a press conference on Sunday afternoon after unveiling a peace marker inside the camp with Man Hee Lee, chair of the South Korea-based Heavenly Culture, World Peace Restoration of Light (HWPL), that what is at stake is the fate “not just of one politician but the entire Bangsamoro and the entire Filipino nation.”
In Manila, also on Sunday, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles said passing the BBL will not only improve the fate of the Bangsamoro region but also change the discourse on Mindanao as it will signal the closing of the armed conflict with the largest Moro rebel group in the country.
“What we need to see at this point in time is the big picture. The farsightedness… because, in reality, this law is not only for the present but it will also affect the future of the Bangsamoro,” the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) press release quoted her as saying.
Deles said the passage of the BBL should not be passed on to the next administration but “rests on the incumbent political leaders we have today.”
“We will keep on pushing and not give up hope on this,” she said.
She acknowledged that “it’s a very tight window but those who know the legislative process said that it is still possible.”
6 session days, or 3rd session day this week
There are only six session days left starting Monday, January 25, until Congress adjourns for the election campaign. But Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL said the House agreed to vote on the bill on January 27 or on the third session day this week.
The House ended its period of interpellation on December 16 and is now on the period of amendments. Its attendance record last week, however, was dismal. It adjourned on Monday due to lack of quorum, started the turno en contra on Tuesday but Zamboanga Rep. Celso Lobregat didn’t finish because there was no longer a quorum. The session was adjourned on Wednesday, again due to lack of quorum. Session days are Mondays to Wednesdays.
The Senate has yet to terminate its period of interpellation. No discussion on the BBL was made within the three-day sessions last week. On January 27, the target date of the House for passage of its version, the Senate will re-open investigation on the Mamasapano Tragedy that left 66 persons dead last year – 44 from the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police, 17 from the MILF and five civilians.
The tragedy’s other casualty was the Bangsamoro peace process as it became the game changer in the 18-year old peace process, 17 of that in negotiations to reach an agreement, the rest in implementation.
The government and the MILF had earlier agreed that “the status quo is unacceptable” and that they would work for the creation of a new autonomous political entity called the Bangsamoro, which would take on a parliamentary form of government.
BBL(the Bangsamoro Basic Law), BLBAR(Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region)
What is being deliberated on in Congress, however, is no longer the BBL drafted by the joint government-MILF Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and finalized with the Office of the President, but the substitute bills – HB 5811 and SB 2894 – both titled “Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region” (BLBAR).
Both substitute bills, however, have been criticized for envisioning a Bangsamoro that is ”less than the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) that it seeks to replace.”
Rodriguez told MindaNews on Tuesday that the BTC proposal to have 28 substantive provisions that HB 5811 deleted from the BBL be restored into the BLBAR, will not happen.
“Not one of the 28 provisions will be restored,” Rodriguez said.
Asked to comment on Rodriguez’ declaration, MILF peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal told MindaNews last week: “OP (Office of the President) will answer for that,” he said, adding that as the MILF has repeatedly said, “a diluted BBL is unacceptable.”
In Sunday’s press conference, Murad said Rodriguez’ opinion is “not the totality of the opinion of Congress.”
“Di natin maaring sabihin na final na yun,” (We cannot say that is final), he said, adding “final” is “after the session of Congress.”
He said they will not entertain the opinion of an individual member of Congress.
Rodriguez is chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL and principal sponsor of the substitute bill, HB 5811 or BLBAR.
Murad acknowledged that the timeframe is now “really very, very short” but stressed that if legislators are decide to pass the “original BBL,” there is still a chance.
He said there is still time for the legislators to restore the important provisions of the BBL into the BLBAR.
At the Senate, Murad said the period of interpellation can be cut short so it can proceed to the period of amendments. He said this is “a matter of their political will kung ipasa or hindi (to pass or not to pass).
Beyond the Aquino administration
Murad said they will “continue our struggle” to achieve peace and will continue to push government to implement the CAB under the Aquino administration and beyond because it is government’s obligation to do so.
He explained that while the BBL is just one part of the implementation phase, “pero tio ito ang pinakaimportante” (but this is the most important) because the other processes that are tied up with the passage of the BBL like decommissioning of the MILF’s weapons and combatants, cannot move forward unless the BBL is passed.
He said there are other aspects in the Normalization process that will not be implemented unless the BBL is passed. “But we will continue to search for peace,” he said.
“We are not closing our struggle,” he added.
Aside from pushing government to implement the peace agreement, the MILF, Murad said, will continue to work with civil society and the internatio0nal community. He said the partnership with the HWPL is oen way of pushing for peace.
In his speech at the peace summit before the unveiling of the peace marker, Murad said “while peace is within sight, up to now it is still out of reach.” Peace, however, must be based on justice, he said.
“The Bangsamoro Question is a conflict whose resolution begs for justices so that there will be genuine peace. This is an axiom that is true not only for the Bangsmoaro alone but for all conflicts around the world,” Murad said.
“When the light of peace shines in the hearts of people, it becomes the light that never fades away.”
[The Mindanao Peace Agreement by HWPL]
Mindanao puts an end to war and unites in peace.
The country becomes a model of world peace by officially declaring Jan 24th as HWPL Day.
On 23rd of January, 2014, Mr. Man Hee Lee of HWPL visited Mindanao—an island with the wounds of its 40-year religious and political conflict. On this day, he signed a peace agreement with the archbishop and bishops of the Philippines.
And on the following day, 24th of January 2014, a peace agreement was signed between the representatives of Islam and the Catholic Church, promising not to cause conflicts. This agreement played a decisive role in opening a new era of peace for Mindanao.
As a continuation of the waves of peace, a peace agreement was also signed between the government and rebels, finally putting an end to the nation’s long civil war. The island of Mindanao officially declared January 24th as HWPL Day.
Hon. Esmael G. Mangudadatu, Governor of Maguindanao Province, Mindanao and Hon.Al haj Murad Ebrahim, Chairman of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who both attended the 1st Annual Commemoration of September 18th WARP Summit gave keynote speeches on HWPL’s active involvement in Mindanao with its peace initiatives which motivated the unity and commitment of the people of Mindanao.